English 4: Unit 5 Vocab Review

Our Unit 5 Vocabulary Quiz is this Tuesday, March 24. It’s a multiple choice quiz that will require you to answer 20 questions. For the last few weeks, we’ve been grappling with the meaning and usage of these words, which should put you in a good position to succeed on this quiz. The act of using these words helps you retain them and make them part of your own rapidly-growing vocabulary. You should be able to review by simply going over the words, definitions and sentences you’ve created. If you’re unclear about where Unit 5 began, we started with the word “acuity” and ended with the word “sumptuous.”

Below is a link to the list of words and definitions (which may be slightly different from the ones presented in class):

Unit 5 Vocab List

And here is a link to vocabtest.com where you can work with these words in several different ways. You simply need to scroll down and, underneath “Grade Level”, click on “Senior”. Then check the box next to “Unit 5” and click on “Test Checked Units”. This will allow to work with words using Learning Definitions, Vocabulary Sentences, Reverse Sentences, etc.

Here are the words, once again:

English 4: Everything You Need for LeDuff/Gladwell Essay (Due: March 23)


Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for you to put everything you’ve learned about writing academic essays into practice with this full essay assignment, due Monday, March 23. You will come up with your own thesis, based on the prompt and the evidence you gather, write 3-5 body paragraphs to support and prove your thesis, and provide a conclusion that re-states your thesis in new language, summarizes your evidence and shows us the broader relevance (why is this important to us as a society and individuals). Specifically, you’ll be “diagnosing” Detroit’s problems and showing your reader how it would be possible cure this struggling Midwestern city of its ills. Can you do it through the Power of Context and applying the Broken Windows Theory (Gladwell) or will it take the large-scale reform and overhaul of Detroit’s vital civil institutions — its criminal justice system, its education system, its economy or its government, to name a few (LeDuff)?

My recommendation for completing the writing process for this (or any other) essay: 1) Start pulling out evidence (from the ideas and evidence presented by Gladwell or LeDuff) that you think might lead to Detroit’s renaissance; 2) Based on that evidence, come up with a working thesis that takes a strong stance that promotes the ideas of one author and disproves the other’s ideas. 3) Come up with an outline that delineates how you will structure your argument and essay. 4) Start writing! 5) Complete a draft; 6) Seek and receive feedback based on the rubric we’re using; 7) Revise and submit!

Below, you’ll find all of the relevant materials you will need to complete this assignment, including:

— The Texts: “Power of Context” and “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

The Prompt (what you need to do and the questions you need to answer)

The Rubric (how you’ll be scored and what your essay should look, sound and read like)

For help, come see us in the Writing Center! Due: Monday, March 23.

English 4: “The Power of Context” Seminar, Day 2

Below is the video from 8th period’s Socratic Seminar about “The Power of Context”. We made it through almost all of Gladwell’s piece, which should put you in a good place for tomorrow’s quiz. The questions on the quiz will be very similar to the two prompts on your seminar sheet, so feel free to start gathering your evidence now!

English 4: “The Power of Context” Schedule and “The Central Park Five” Notes

This week, we’re wrapping up our initial work with Malcolm Gladwell’s influential non-fiction piece, “The Power of Context”, which was taken from his book, “The Tipping Point.” We’ll finish watching “The Central Park Five” documentary on Monday and use it to further or understanding of “The Power of Context” and the Broken Windows Theory, especially as it applies to the charged environment that defined New York City in the 1980s. The rest of the week, we’ll be working through the text in seminar discussions and assessing your understand with a reading quiz on Thursday. Next week, we’ll introduce the new essay assignment, which will require you to compare and contrast “The Power of Context” with “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”.  To prepare you for this work, here are a few notes and materials:

Click here to download the text: “The Power of Context.”

Here’s the schedule for the week (3/2 – 3/7):

Monday: Finish watching “The Central Park Five” and connect documentary to “The Power of Context”. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”; complete body paragraph assignments (“Soccer v. McWorld” and “Dr. Daedalus”) and/or complete revisions.

Tuesday: Socratic Seminar, Day 1. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”

Wednesday: Socratic Seminar, Day 2. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”. Make sure you have SS notes ready for quiz on Thursday.

Thursday: Reading Quiz (Due: Annotations and Socratic Seminar notes.)

Friday: No classes! HW: Finish “The Power of Context”; complete body paragraph assignments (“Soccer v. McWorld” and “Dr. Daedalus”) and/or complete revisions.

A few other links that might be helpful:

The Daily News has a whole page dedicated to this case, with a timeline, videos and links to original reporting.

Here’s a NY Mag story with a look back on the case following the 2002 confession of Matias Reyes who admitted that he, in fact, had raped and beaten the jogger in Central Park.

Some say “The Central Park Five” documentary is biased and one-sided. The Wall Street Journal tries to clear up some of the misconceptions about the case,and how it played it out over the past 25 years.